Law Library staff members meet for a lunchtime poker game.
August 13, 2013—Trophies, in addition to books, circulate through the Harvard Law School Library. There are three trophies, of three different sizes, each depicting a five-card poker hand. These trophies are displayed proudly in staff offices.
Every Thursday, a group of library staff members meet on the first floor of the building. It’s not quite a boiler room (though they do bring out a felt-covered card table); there is no cigar smoke, and no real money is exchanged. “But there are definitely bragging rights involved for the winners,” said Meg Kribble, a research librarian and outreach coordinator, who is a regular player.
The group formed about three years ago and the number of players ranges from as few as three to as many as nine. They play Texas Hold ’Em—with the blind raised every 15 minutes during the hour to keep the stakes moving. Players calculate their cumulative winnings for the month, and the top three capture the trophies.
“Since we have players from all five floors in the library, it allows us to get to know staff members we wouldn’t normally interact with,” Kribble said. “People’s personalities definitely come through more in this context—one regular even speaks in a French accent when he plays.” “It helps foster more of a community in the Law Library,” said John Hostage, authorities and database integrity librarian for Information and Technical Services (ITS).
Ben White, a library assistant for ITS, added, “It’s something fun that helps break up the work week.”
The game is held every Thursday from 12 to 1, and all Harvard library staff members are welcome. For more information, e-mail mkribblelaw [dot] harvard [dot] edu (Meg Kribble).